And so the grand journey begins…
This morning I was up at just after 0600h to jump on the bike and ride to Sevenoaks Station. A sleepy Lee-Anne bade me goodbye, and sent me off with a kiss and I was on my way. In the last couple of weeks I have got a lot better at climbing, mostly by doing a few long(ish) rides around the country lanes to the south of Seal, but the route to Sevenoaks Station from Seal is very hilly and the addition of my big bag made the three uphill sections a real challenge. Still I arrived in time to board a train before the cycle restrictions kicked in, and was treated to a very crowded train to Charing Cross.
From there I rode part of my old route from Southwark to Paddington, through Admiralty Arch and onto the Mall cycle path, and thence up Constitution Hill, under the Wellington Arch and into Hyde Park, up the East cycle path and then onto Bayswater Road heading west towards Shepherds Bush. The Shepherds Bush roundabout was not as scary as I remember, and apart from an absent minded bin lorry driver I had no more trouble until I was on the home stretch heading up Wood Lane, when a car driver nearly turned left into me after effecting an emergency stop to allow someone travelling in the other direction to turn in before them! Still, defensive riding was my friend once more and I arrived on “The Network” (the piazza between BBC White City, BBC Media Centre and BBC Broadcast Centre) for 0800h, leaving me plenty of time to buy shower gel, shower and breakfast before starting work on time at 0900h without feeling rushed at all… The BBC is deserted at 0800h, and it was a lovely tranquil five minutes that I spent sitting, sipping a smoothie from Crushh and zoning out looking at the water feature outside BBC Broadcast Centre, where I work.
Work is going well. I’ve started to really get my head around the “way of doing things” that the BBC is using on its new(er) stack and I’m looking forward to the planning meeting for the next sprint, which I am attending on Monday and have been encouraged to prepare Developer Stories for.
Once today’s working time is over, it’s back on the bike to ride to Euston, where I will pick up my tickets and then board the train for Wigan (with the bike in a free, reserved bike space), and on arrival back in the North West I will make my way back to Mum and Dad’s in Chorley by bike, essentially closing the day’s travels.
There will, no doubt, be more to follow on my experiences of the rest of this train+bike extravaganza as the weekend progresses, and you never know, I might find something else to blog about as well…